The Atlanta Falcons aren’t going to play waiting games with Julio Jones’ contract extension. They want to sign the superstar receiver before the start of the 2019 regular season.
When asked if he thinks an extension will come before September 8th, Falcons owner Arthur Blank told D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“I would hope so, but I don’t know that. We’ll have to let things take their course. I know that we are definitely in serious negotiations. It’s our goal, and their goal, as well to get it done before the start of the season.”
Jones, according to Over The Cap, is on contract for $13.6 million for 2019 and $12.9 million for 2020. But, with a division rival paying a star receiver a $20 million average per year deal in the Saints’ Michael Thomas, there is sure to be a spike in the perennial Pro-Bowler’s contract. Though Jones is now 30, he hasn’t shown any signs of wear. In 2018, he tallied 113 receptions for 1,677 yards and eight touchdowns.
Before the Hall of Fame Game between the Falcons and the Denver Broncos, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said to NFL media:
“We have a very good idea of approximately where he’s [Jones] going to be, which I won’t share specifically. The good thing is we’ve never been held by our owner to be limiting someone and we’re very good with our football players here. We feel very proud of how we approach it.
And again, where we approach it with Julio, we look at everything, of course. We believe that he should be the highest-paid player — sorry, I did not say player — the highest-paid receiver in the league. And I know he believes that. It’s just how we’re going to approach this and how we’re going to get it done. I believe it’s right around the corner, but I don’t want know when it is.”
The Falcons clearly want Jones locked up for the long haul, and it’d be hard to blame them.